If you’re new to outdoor rock climbing, set your sights on Jimmy Cliff, a sunny spot comprised of two separate rock faces. Try The Nuthatch (5.7) or Junco (5.8+), both named for local birds. Jimmy Cliff is also a great spot to practice multi-pitch climbing; Clip a Dee Doo Dah (5.3) and Lady and the Tramp (5.4) are each two pitches.
Looking for moderates? Head to the shady Meadows area, which is just a five-minute walk from the car (come early; the short approach makes this place popular). New trad leaders should try the aptly named Beginner Route (5.5) or Holderness School Corner (5.8), while sport leaders will find a slew of high-quality 5.10s to entertain. Misdemeanor (5.10b) and Cold Turkey (5.10c) are highly recommended.
Finally, for more seasoned climbers, the Orange Crush crag is a must-visit. Here, highly rated 5.11s and 5.12s abound. Try Black Mamba (5.11c), Orangahang (5.12a), or, if you’re feeling strong, Predator (5.13b).
When To Go
Rumney’s prime climbing seasons are spring and fall. If you’re new to the area, consider timing your visit with the American Alpine Club’s Rumney Craggin’ Classic, an annual climbing festival packed with guided clinics, presentations, live music, and events.
From Boston, hop on Interstate 93 headed north. Take Exit 26 and follow Route 25 west to get to the town of Rumney. From Main Street, head west along Buffalo Road for just short of a mile. There you’ll find the Rumney Rocks trailhead.
There are two available parking areas, in addition to the American Alpine Club campground lot. All parking requires a paid fee or permit (see below). You can also park at the library in town and carpool from there. (Note: Parking along the road is illegal. Come back later or go elsewhere if the lots are full.)
Passes and Permits
You’ll need a U.S. Forest Service recreation pass to visit Rumney Rocks. These can be purchased online. You can also purchase a day-use parking pass from the trailhead kiosk.
The Rumney Rattlesnake Campground, maintained by the American Alpine Club, is an iconic climbers’ campground right across the road from the Rumney Rocks trailhead (reserve spots ahead online). If it’s full, the Mountain Pines Cam